Online Coaching – Perfect Timing


I hope everyone is safe and well in these difficult times. One thing you are probably doing is spending a lot more time at home. And with that comes a lot more time online, particularly using internet communication tools like Skype and Zoom.

You may have noticed that I offer personal finance coaching. This also includes online coaching, which was initially meant for people living outside the Kanto area, but is fast becoming the norm in these times of social distancing.

Now would be a great time to get your finances in order and take advantage of one of the best opportunities to invest you will see in years. Below is the 25 year chart of the S&P 500. You can see quite clearly the benefit of investing during severe market downturns in 2000 and 2008. Why not make use of the extra bandwidth you have and put some money to work for you?

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Among other things, I can help you figure out:

  • How much you have available to invest and how much you should be keeping in cash for emergencies.
  • What currency is best for you.
  • What kind of account would be right for you.
  • How to allocate when you get the account.
  • How to maintain your investments over the long run.

More information, including rates, is available here. If you would like to book a coaching session, or you have some questions before getting started, please get in touch with me via the Contact Form.

How to Get Rich (without getting lucky)


And now for something different… If you recognise the title of today’s post, you probably already follow Naval Ravikant. And if you don’t, I recommend checking out his work.

His tweetstorm on getting rich is pinned to his Twitter page, and has also been reproduced in pdf form here. There’s a lot of knowledge packed into a five minute read and I think I might be coming back to this again and again.

I’m not going to try to summarise Naval’s thoughts and work, because he is already incredibly concise. Check out his series of short podcasts on Youtube and you will see what I mean. You will also find more on his website here.



Banking in Japan – Overseas Transfers

Terebi Madoguchi

I remember some 20 years ago, in a local bank in countryside Japan, spending a whole morning sending some money to my account back home to make a payment on my student loan. To say the process was complicated would be an understatement. I hate to say it, but if you tried to do the same thing from the same bank today, it probably wouldn’t be any easier! So here are a few things I have learned over the years, and some quite recently, on the art of making overseas bank transfers from Japan.

Firstly, if you can avoid doing it from a bank in the middle of the countryside, that probably doesn’t get a lot of call for overseas bank wires, then that will make things easier. I know not everyone lives in Central Tokyo but if you have a trip to a larger town or city planned, you might want to do your overseas banking then.

Secondly, you will need a lot of detail on the account you are sending to, including: bank name, bank address, beneficiary name, beneficiary address, account number, SWIFT code, and IBAN number if available. If it is not a bank account in your own name you will need to explain what the purpose of the transfer is. If you have documentation supporting this, such as an invoice, that will help. Oh and don’t forget your hanko! (chop / seal)

Recently banks are very sensitive about sending money to “third party” accounts. So if you have an investment with ABC company overseas and you are sending money to that company’s account so they can credit your investment account, it’s a good idea to have some kind of proof that you have an account with ABC. (like a copy of a statement) In some cases banks have still refused to send money to third parties if they are not on the Ministry of Finance’s list of accepted institutions…If this is the case I suggest sending to your own account overseas first, or setting up an overseas account for this purpose.

I haven’t researched the overseas transfer process for all banks in Japan. I bank with Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ and I recently found that they have a few more options for executing transfers than previously:

At the counter: This is the old school method. You need to fill in the overseas transfer form with the details of the account you want to wire money to. If you are not used to it then you may need some help filling in the form. You may also need some Japanese language ability or a translator to talk to the staff. Cost 4,500 yen.

At the “Terebi Madoguchi”: You may notice that your bank now has a little cubicle equipped with a computer screen and phone inside. This is not a tardis-like time machine, although you may be in there a while the first time! You can input the transfer details into the computer and talk to staff on the phone if you get stuck. This is likely to require some pretty advanced Japanese skills or help from a native speaker, but if you are able to work it all out it you can save 1,000 yen per transfer. Cost 3,500 yen. Transfer limit of 5 million yen.

Online registration: Instead of writing the transfer details on the form by hand, you can register them first online and then print and take to the counter. This allows you to save the transfer details for future use, so it could be handy if you send money to the same account regularly. Cost 3,500 yen.

Transfer through online banking: If you have never used Japanese online banking then this one is for the patient only. The process is as follows:

  • Register the transfer details on online banking
  • Bank will request supporting documentation, such as your ID / My Number
  • Send documents back to the bank by post
  • Once registered you can login and send money from the comfort of your home
  • Takes around 2 weeks to set up
  • Cost 2,500 yen per transfer. Transfer limit of 1 million yen per day and 5 million yen per month

I would be interested to hear if anyone has experience with other banks in Japan. I understand that Shinsei bank has online banking in English, and has a GoRemit service with a charge of 2,000 yen per remittance. Could be the way to go for newcomers!


Video: How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio

If you are more than a little confused by economic news these days, then this 30 minute animated video by Ray Dalio should help clear things up. Learn about credit, debt cycles, interest rates and the role of government and central banks. More importantly it helps us understand where we are economically today:

Inspiration and information


If you are serious about attaining financial freedom and peace of mind, I encourage you to read and study as much as possible. Below are some recommendations; some classic, some ultra-modern, to help you get started. Feel free to share any good books you have read on the subject:

Think and Grow Rich: The Original, an Official Publication of The Napoleon Hill Foundation

– A classic on personal development and personal improvement. I would encourage just about everyone to read this book.

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

– Another long seller. Learn the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.

Rich Dad's Cashflow Quadrant: Rich Dad's Guide to Financial Freedom

– Not as well known as Rich Dad Poor Dad, however I think it’s a better book. It certainly changed my outlook on working for income vs owning and investing in businesses.

Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook

– Brand new and right up to date. Tony Robbins teaches how to invest safely in this modern, unpredictable era. With insights from some of the world’s top investors and business minds. At 256 pages, this is pretty much bite-size by Tony Robbins standards.

MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom

– And here’s the long version. At 688 pages there isn’t much that has been left out of this one…